So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city – Luke 2:3

 

I’ve discovered a bit of a controversy this Christmas. I know, controversy is probably the last thing we need more of. But some things just can’t be left out of place. Sometimes, the route we take is important. Turning to the right or left, staying on road or going off road, makes all the difference in reaching our desired destination.

I was researching the Christmas song “Over the River and Through the Woods when I recognized some inconsistencies. The song was originally a poem entitled, “The New England Boy’s Thanksgiving Poem.” It was written in 1844 by Lydia Maria Child and included in her book of poems Flowers for Children, Volume 2. Maria (as she apparently preferred to be called), lived a hard life in some ways but didn’t let that deter her from being a productive impactful individual. Maria was twelve when her mother died. She went to live with her sister in New England. She was homeschooled and self-taught and eventually became a teacher. She was a prolific writer of novels, poetry, biographies, magazine articles, short stories, and even a home makers book. She spent a good portion of her life helping others as an abolitionist. She wrote one of the first anti-slavery books in America. Locally, Maria invested her time and energies in helping native Americans better their living conditions. [1]

Maria’s brother Convers Francis graduated Harvard Divinity School and became a Unitarian minister. The Second Great Awakening in which Charles Finney was a prominent apologist and evangelist went a long way in denouncing the false universalist teachings of Unitarianism. While Unitarianism still exists, its’ never been the same since the Second Great Awakening.

Rev. Francis later became a founding member of the Transcendental Club. I don’t know how much of this world view impacted Maria. It’s hard to think such views had no effect at all on the way she viewed the world. Rev. Francis was involved in some of the Transcendental Club’s movements to reform.

In 1821 Maria moved in with her brother. Her brother encouraged her to read the classics. Through the Transcendentalist Club she was able to meet such prominent writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Theodore Parker. It was through conversations between Maria and these prominent figures that she was inspired to write. Her writing became very popular. From 1841 – 1852 she edited a children’s magazine and received wages on par with that of men. (Equal wages for women was not something readily practiced in her day.) [2]

In 1852, after reuniting with her estranged husband, Maria moved into her grandfather’s house. The once humble home, being worth millions of dollars today, remains to this day and is in good condition. It’s located at 91 Old Sudbury Road in Wayland Massachusetts. Her famous poem was published while she was living and working in New York City. Maybe homesickness for her New England roots inspired her to remember and publish the poem.

In 1874, friend and Quaker Abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier, popularized the poem by including it in his Child Life anthology of poems for children. He altered the name to “Over the river and through the wood.” [3] It was later converted by an unknown author into the popular song, “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

Over the River and through the Woods is a controversial song on two notes. First, there seems to be a controversy as to what holiday the song is intended for. I always thought this was a Christmas song, but low and behold, it was originally written for Thanksgiving. Guess the poem took a turn toward Christmas when converted to song. The second issue, and more important one, is whether or not the first line is directed to “grandmother’s” or “grandfather’s” house. As a grandfather, I don’t easily yield ground to my counterparts. Is it “Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go” or not?” [4] The alternative rendering has the lyrics reading, “Over the river and through the woods to grandfather’s house we go.” [5] Wikipedia states, “Although many people sing “to grandmother’s house we go”, the author’s original words were “to grandfather’s house we go”.[4] Many people also mistakenly refer to the “Wood” in the song as plural “Woods” rather than singular.” [6] While it may be true that, “the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh, through (the) white and drifted snow!”, apparently over time some have gotten off course. Given this clarification by Wikipedia and the above historical background, it should be clear our route takes us “to grandfather’s house.” Glad that was straightened out in time for Christmas!

I hope you don’t miss the tongue in cheek spirit of the introduction. But there is one thing that is true and important to take seriously, the route we take at Christmas can determine the blessing of Christmas and even our eternal destiny.

The route of Christmas began over two thousand years ago. The historical account of the first Christmas trek is found in Luke 2:1-7 which reads:

 Luke 2:1–7 (NKJV) – And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

This passage is the first mention of the Christmas route. Here we are told about the route Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus took. As we examine this route, we’ll discover this was and sometimes continue to be, a difficult route. Please join me for a Christmas journey I pray is life changing.

Luke 2:1 – And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

A Route with Requirements: 2:1. Emperor Caesar Augustus made a decree, an order, a demand that all people return to their home towns to be registered. Life is filled with requirements; many are by governments. Governments use law to maintain order (Romans 13). God uses law to maintain order, but also to “convert the soul” (Psalm 19:7).

The law helps us to see clearly our fallen sinful status:

  • 1 Timothy 1:8–11 (NKJV) – But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

The law puts requirements on us. The law shows us we’re not good enough to get to our final destination, heaven. We see this clearly stated in the roadmap of Romans. Here it states:

  • Romans 3:9–20 (NKJV) – What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

        11   There is none who understands;

There is none who seeks after God.

        12   They have all turned aside;

They have together become unprofitable;

There is none who does good, no, not one.”

        13   “Their throat is an open tomb;

With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;

“The poison of asps is under their lips”;

        14   “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”

        15   “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

        16   Destruction and misery are in their ways;

        17   And the way of peace they have not known.”

        18   “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

There’s no mistaking the truth that all humanity is lost in sin. We’re off track. We’re lost in the woods. And the longer we live without God’s directions, the harder it is to find our way back on track. In fact, so dark and dense is the wood of sin, that if we just make one wrong turn, we are lost. The Bible states:

  • Galatians 3:10–13 (NKJV) – 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
  • James 2:10 (NKJV) –10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

It’s important to know where we stand in regards to God’s law because it determines whether or not on Judgment Day, we will be declared innocent or guilty. Jesus said, “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8:34). Sin gets us off course. Sin sidetracks us off of the route of righteousness. Sin entangles us. When we fall into sin, its like falling in quicksand. It’s like being lost in the woods and falling into a smothering quicksand with no one to hear our screams for help.

Elsewhere the Bible speaks of the serious predicament and consequences of sin:

  • Galatians 5:19–21 (NKJV) – 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  •  Revelation 21:8 (NKJV) – But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
  •  Revelation 22:15 (NKJV) – 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
  •  1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NKJV) – Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

The law shows us that there is something wrong with us. We are sinners. We hurt ourselves and hurt others. We are lost and enslaved in sin. But thankfully, there are those words at the end of the passage in 1 Corinthians that states, “And such were some of you.” We are helplessly lost in the lonely bogs of sin and no one can hear our calls for help, no one that is, except for the One who created the Christmas route. As we continue on this Route of Christmas, we are going to see an incredible gift offered to us by God.

Luke 2:2-3 –This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

A Route with Registrations: 2:2-3. Caesar Augustus wanted to know how many people were in the Empire of Rome so that he could take in the most tax. Governments are all about control and revenue. They provide protection and societal order, they provide services to their people. That is all good. But there is a trade-off. The government demands payment for its services. They have militaries to maintain and programs to fund. They have conquests to make and need roads to reach them. All of this requires money. Citizens provide tax revenue for all that governments desire to do.

The Lord uses registrations too. But His registrations are far more amicable and have a far more benevolent blessed purpose. The Lord has His people take a census for His earthly nation of Israel (e.g. Numbers). He has a roll that He will Call one day that is heavenly. The Lord numbers those who are His so that it is known they are His. He has a Book of Life and other books in which the names of people will be written.

The Book of Life is mentioned 8 times in scripture:

  • Philippians 4:3 (NKJV) – And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
  •  Revelation 3:5 (NKJV) – He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
  •  Revelation 13:8 (NKJV) – All who dwell on the earth will worship him [i.e. the Beast or Antichrist], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
  •  Revelation 17:8 (NKJV) – The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.  

And the end of the road, you certainly should want your name to be written in God’s “Book of Life.” At the final Judgement, the Great White Throne Judgment, it states: 

  • Revelation 20:12 (NKJV) – 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

 Apparently, besides The Book of Life, there are “books” which contain all the events and works of each person’s life who has not been saved from their sins by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The sinful works of the saved are eradicated and erased by the blood of the Lamb Jesus (e.g. 1 John 1:7 and 9). But those who have rejected Jesus, all their shameful sinful deeds will be exposed on this Day of Judgment. It will be a tragic sad day for anyone whose name is not found in God’s Book of Life:

  • Revelation 20:15 (NKJV) – 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
  •  Revelation 21:27 (NKJV) – 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
  •  Revelation 22:19 (NKJV) – 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Is your name registered in the Book of Life?

Luke 2:4-5 – Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

A Route of Rigor: 2:4. Some people try to stay on the route of Christmas simply by following the road signs and observing the traffic laws. But fulfilling the requirements of the law demands work and rigor. It’s 97.8 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It was a long rigorous trek for Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary to journey in order to meet the census requirements of Rome.

Life lived under the law, alone, in one’s own strength, is rigorous and rough. But the Law of God is necessary. It shows us the way to stay on track. But it also shows us we have an inherent propensity to get off track. On our own we just keep wandering off course and into a ditch. We are sinful and in need of a Guide, a Savior. The Law brings us to Jesus:

  • Romans 7:7, 14, 18-19, 24-25 (NKJV) – What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” . . . . 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. . .. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. . .. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
  •  Galatians 3:24 (NKJV) – 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Are you off course? Do you sense you’re headed in the wrong direction? Do you have no sense of direction? God has laid out a perfect route for us that’s not only for Christmas, but for every day of this life and for the life to come.

Luke 2:6 – So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

A Route of Redemption: 2:6. The incarnation of Jesus is the first step in the redemption of those lost and separated from God due to sin (Isaiah 59:1-2). All humanity is “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). And this doesn’t surprise our Creator. Our sinfulness doesn’t surprise God. It was a sovereign calculated decision God made when He placed our first parents in the Garden of Eden. You see, God created humanity in love and to love. Love is the greatest! (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love gives meaning to everything we do (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). God’s love is not like worldly sentimental fleshly carnal love. The route of Christmas, the route for life God provides us, helps us to see clearly the nature of His love (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). God’s love is sacrificial and selfless (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). God’s love is perfect (1 John 4:17-19).

God loving plan for our redemption was all planned out from eternity:

  • Acts 15:18 (NKJV) – 18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.

 God knows everything about us (e.g. Hebrews 4:13). That which is hidden will be made known (Matthew 10:26). And what is truly amazing is that, God knows everything about us, our sins and failings, and He still loves us! That is a profound truth one learns as they travel the route of Christmas.

Jesus knows all about us. He knew the woman at the well was living in sin with a man she wasn’t married to (John 4:1-26). He knows all about us. But He still comes to redeem us from the curse of sin, from the sentence we deserve due to breaking God’s Law. And He comes to us on the route of Christmas, just in time:

  • Galatians 4:4–7 (NKJV) – But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Jesus exposes our heart by applying the Law to our lives like He did with the Rich Young ruler (Luke 18:18-27). When we are laid bare by the Law and hopelessly guilty under its weight, Jesus comes to redeem us. Jesus takes our sin on Himself and gives us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus is the instrument, our substitute to fulfill and wipe out the requirements of the law that were against us:

  • Colossians 2:13–14 (NKJV) – 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 Jesus’ route didn’t end are a stable. Jesus route continued to the cross. He tasted death for us. When we travel the route of Christmas we see, “Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). And then He rose from the dead. And because He rose from the dead, our route can become a resurrection road (1 Corinthians 15). When we confess Jesus as Lord and believe in our heart that He was raised from the dead, “you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

A Route of Righteousness: 2:6. God’s “completed” plan of redemption is in Jesus. It involves satisfying God’s lawful righteous just requirements. His plan of redemption was costly, for Him. For us, the benefit of His cross work is offered freely to us.

This righteous route of redemption is clearly mapped out in the Bible. The following is a slightly modified Romans Road of Redemption, a sequence of verses from the book of Romans that help us to understand the substance of the route of Christmas.

  • Romans 1:16 (NKJV) – 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
  •  Romans 3:10 (NKJV) – 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
  •  Romans 3:23 (NKJV) – 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  •  Romans 3:21–27 (NKJV) – 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
  • Romans 6:23 (NKJV) – 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  •  Romans 5:8 (NKJV) – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  •  Romans 5:5 (NKJV) – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
  •  Romans 10:9 (NKJV) – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
  •  Romans 10:13 (NKJV) – 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
  •  Romans 5:1 (NKJV) – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
  •  Romans 8:1 (NKJV) – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
  •  Romans 8:38–39 (NKJV) – 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Have you travelled this route of redemption? We begin it by faith and we continue it by walking by faith (Romans 1:17). All that God has on His route of redemption is provided by Him to us freely by His grace. To receive the benefits of His redemptive provision in Jesus, all we need to is receive it by faith. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

Luke 2:7a – And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger. . .

A Route of Reclamation: 2:7a. Jesus was laid in a manger; a feeding troth for animals; the Creator of the universe, Savior of the world, King of kings and Lord of Lords, in a feeding troth for common animals. Why? He came humbly, as humbly as you could come, so He would be approachable to all; especially those who are at their lowest. Jesus, Creator of the universe (Colossians 1:15-18), equal with God, humbled Himself and “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross” (Philippians 2:8). Why did He do this? He assumed the humblest state of humanity so that He could reach the humblest human. He lowered Himself all the way down to our level, to the gutter, so that those in the gutter could relate to Him and come to Him. Jesus is all about Reclamation projects.

Jesus specializes in taking castoffs and cast outs and renewing them. He doesn’t throw anyone away. Those that have crashed and burned along the route are tended to, loved, called and repaired. He takes those in ruins, like the Gadarene Demoniac, and restores them (Luke 8:26-39). He lets prodigals go their way, let’s them be humbled by the realities of life, let’s them run into ditches and even off cliffs, then He receives them back home (Luke 15).

Jesus knocks proud skeptics like Saul off of their high horse. He humbles them. He receives them back. He changes their name from Saul to Paul; He changes their nature. He reclaims them and puts them into His service (e.g. Paul – 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Acts 9).

This is GRACE. This is the greatest gift. This is why it’s worth traveling the route of Christmas. Paul was a product of God’s grace:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NKJV) – 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

He was reclaimed and restored from the religious dumpster. He was regenerated to spiritual life by grace (Titus 3:4-7).

Those of us who have been reclaimed and restored by this great grace, we need to be gracious too. We need to be a Church of grace and people of grace who welcome those ruined and wracked by sin and welcome them to the family of God. When the Lord gets us back on track, then we become, “ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

When was the last time you didn’t just pass by rubber necking someone who had gotten off route, but instead, stopped and offered a helping hand of Jesus to them? The route of Christmas should especially lead us to help the hurting and offer them the hope of Jesus. Just think what this world would be like if those cast on the dumpster fire of this world were rescued and reclaimed in Christ. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, haring even the garment defiled by the flesh” Jude 20-23).

Luke 2:7b – . . . because there was no room for them in the inn.

A Route of Response: 2:7b. Jesus was wrapped up in swaddling clothes; God’s gift wrapping for us. Jesus was laid in a manger for all to see. The facts and evidence of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, His work in and through the Church of history is out there in the open for all to see. And all God requires of us is a response. Jesus was laid in a manger in a stable where the animals were kept. This shows us the humility of Jesus our Savior. But it also shows us that some had “no room” for Him. Some rejected Jesus. That was their response to the redemption gift of Jesus. They purposely chose to take their own route for life, and that route didn’t include Jesus. Some stand still, they make no decision about the route of Christmas, about Jesus. What they fail to understand is that no decision is decision. You are either for or against Jesus. Others, take the hand of Jesus and experience His uplifting eternal life. They experience the true joy the route of Christmas can lead to. What will your response be?

I’ll close with this. Jesus has a way of turning the tables on us. He walks the route of Christmas. He travels our road of life. And along the way when He comes to where we live, He knocks. When He knocks, He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and be with Me” (Revelation 3:20). In other words, not only does Jesus clearly map out a route to eternal life, not only does He provide all we need for the journey, but He takes the initiative to make sure everyone is given ample opportunity to know He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He goes out of His way to reach us. Will you open to Him? Will you welcome Jesus in? Will you have room for Him? Will you walk with Him? What will you do with the route of Christmas?

 

 

 

 

[1] https://aknextphase.com/tag/a-new-england-boys-poem-about-thanksgiving/

[2] https://aknextphase.com/tag/a-new-england-boys-poem-about-thanksgiving/

[3] http://www.pilgrimhall.org/pdf/Over_the_River_Through_Woods.pdf

[4] https://www.songsforteaching.com/folk/overtheriverandthroughthewoods.php

[5] https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=2363

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_River_and_Through_the_Wood